23 January 2021, Saturday, 6:48
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Witness in Autukhovich's case: They promised to release me by Easter if I say what they need

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New witnesses in the case of political prisoners Mikalai Autukhovich and Uladzimir Asipenka speak about serious pressure on them by the investigators.

The trial over Mikalai Autukhovich, Uladzimir Asipenka, Mikhail Kazlou and Alyaksanr Laryn, who are charged with preparation of a terrorist attack and other crimes, continues in the Supreme Court, Radio Svaboda informs.

Witnesses in the episode related to Mikalai Autukhovich's stay in the city prison in Octover 2005 were questioned before the noon March 29. According to investigation, Autukhovich was leading his "criminal group" from prison. The group allegedly included Uladzimir Asipenka and Alyaksandr Laryn. They kept communication allegedly through a former employee of the prison, Syarhei Shnitlo, with the help of an entrepreneour from Vorsha Ihar Puzikau.

Ihar Puzikau said to the court that he met Autukhovich in order to learn from his experience in organising road transport and haulage services. In October 2005, when Autukhovich was arrested, Puzikau arrived to Hrodna and tried to get an agreement from the prisoner to buy "2-3 items of automotive equipment". As said by Puzikau, he showed a letter about that addressed to Autukhovich, to a worker of prison Shnitko, but he refused to take it. Thus, failed to get in touch with Autukhovich, the witness said. Prosecutor Eldar Safarau read out Puzikau's evidence he gave during interrogation. This evidence contradicts the facts the witness told on March 29 in the Suprere Court. During investigation Ihar Puzikau said that there had been several meetings, and as a result Shnitko allegedly took a letter to pass to Autukhovich, and then returned saying that he had no possibility to pass it

In the court Ihar Puzikaou explained these contradictions by pressure: as he said, in fact he had been forced to give such evidence that was needed to investigators. "It was on Easter. I was told: if you sign it, you would be released," Ihar Puzikau said in the court.

The former worker of Hrodna prison Syarhei Shnitko gave more detailed testimony to the court. He said that he saw Puzikau had a letter for Autukhovich, but he didn't take it, but returned back and after a while wrote a report to administration of the colony about an attempt of a contact of a person from outside with Autukhovich. As for the essence of the letter Puzikau wanted to pass, as said by him, it was about a permission "to buy 2-3 cars".